The Alliance Party has denounced the decision of Kiwirail management not to bid for the contract to build Auckland’s new electric trains.
Alliance Party transport spokesperson Trevor Hanson says New Zealanders must resist a National Government that is “pulling New Zealand down.”
Mr Hanson says the work should be done in New Zealand.
He says at a time when New Zealanders are suffering from the highest unemployment in many years, the responsibility was on Transport Minister Steven Joyce and the National Government to take action.
“National is stealing jobs from New Zealanders as they have the ability to turn this incredibly bad decision around – if they wanted to.”
“The current National Government and Kiwirail senior management have let New Zealand down badly.”
Mr Hanson says unless the decision is reversed, it will result in higher unemployment, worsen New Zealand’s balance of payments, and reduce our ability to manufacture advanced industrial products.
He says high quality studies have shown the potential benefits of building the new electric trains locally.
UPDATE: Dunedin City Councillor reacts to Alliance:
“Oh for God’s Sake”
The Alliance Party says proposals to push forward user pays water metering will unleash a torrent of resistance from angry Dunedinites.
The Otago Daily Times today reported that Dunedin City Council has warned getting water for free is a concept the public “needs to get away from”.
Alliance Party Dunedin North candidate and trade spokeperson Victor Billot says the loss of around 145 jobs at Cadbury’s in Dunedin was an indicator of the serious problems faced by working people in New Zealand.
“We are seeing a slow motion disaster for working people as secure jobs evaporate in Dunedin and throughout the nation as major players like Fisher and Paykel and Cadbury shut down plant and lay off the workforce.”
He says Dunedin can’t take continual hits like this, and workers needed support, but were unlikely to get it from the current Government or a National Party whose answer to unemployment was to attack the unemployed. Continue reading
The Alliance Party says the closure of the Fisher and Paykel plant and Tamahine factory in Dunedin has seen a collapse of any type of local or national leadership to deal with the problem.
Alliance Party trade spokesperson Victor Billot says workers have been ignored as the vital part of the solution.
“There are an enormous amount of skills and human ability out there, but the response of Government and business is to weep a few crocodile tears and just carry on as usual. Frankly the workers at these outfits would get more headway if they occupied the factories and refused to leave, and just started producing goods again. They don’t have anything to lose. And you can be sure the local community would get right in behind them.” Continue reading
Alliance members joined the picket line of Alsco laundry workers in Dunedin in November in their quest for improved wages and conditions. The workers who are members of the Service and Food Workers Union have now settled with their employer.
To see more photos check out the Alliance on Flickr